SADAFCO acquires Polish dairy producer Mlekoma

Wout Matthijs, CEO of SADAFCO.
Updated 21 August 2018

SADAFCO acquires Polish dairy producer Mlekoma

In a move to enhance its milk powder supplier base, Saudia Dairy and Foodstuff Company (SADAFCO) acquired the Polish dairy producer Mlekoma through its subsidiary company SADAFCO Poland. The acquisition agreement grants the Saudi company an initial stake of 76 percent in Mlekoma Sp z.o.o and its unit Foodexo sp.z o.o (Mlekoma Group), a transaction valued at SR120 million ($32 million).
In Poland, the Mlekoma group owns two plants specialized in the production of powdered, condensed and fluid products as well as whole milk, cream, butter milk and fat filled powders. In addition, the group’s business activity involves an export business to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Far East.
As a result of the acquisition, the financial results for the next quarter of both parties will be consolidated under SADAFCO, as recently announced by the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul). The terms of the agreement stipulate that the existing management board of Mlekoma will continue to serve their managerial roles under the new headship.
Wout Matthijs, CEO of SADAFCO, said: “This move comes out of SADAFCO’s resolute focus on remaining profitable, despite the numerous challenges we face in a highly competitive domestic market. The acquisition offers an option to purchase milk powder from our own powder production facility, which offers both security of supply and remains flexible within the global market.
“We view this acquisition as an opportunity to ensure Saudia-branded products remain in the forefront in the consumers’ minds and continue to contribute to the overall Saudi economy’s growth long into the future.”


Whale shark hot spot in Red Sea offers new insights

An international team of KAUST researchers studied whale shark movement patterns near the Shib Habil reef (Arabic for ‘Rope Reef’), a known whale shark hotspot in the Red Sea on the Saudi Arabian coast.
Updated 18 November 2019

Whale shark hot spot in Red Sea offers new insights

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), whale sharks are considered endangered, which means the species has suffered a population decline of more than 50 percent in the past three generations. The whale shark is only two classifications from being extinct. Improvements and conservation efforts are in place, but there is still a long way to
go to protect these gentle underwater giants.
An international team of researchers, led by marine scientists at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and including researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US, has performed an extensive study of whale shark movement and residency using a combination of three scientific techniques: Visual census, acoustic monitoring and satellite telemetry.
Their six-year study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, tracked long-term whale shark movement patterns near the Shib Habil reef (Arabic for “Rope Reef”), a known whale shark hotspot in the Red Sea. The team monitored a total of 84 different sharks over a six-year period, and their results shed light on whale shark behaviors,
which could help to inform conservation efforts.
“The study takes years of passive acoustic monitoring data and combines it with previously published visual census and satellite telemetry data from the same individual sharks. The combined dataset is used to characterize the aggregation’s seasonality, spatial distribution, and patterns of dispersal,” said Dr. Michael Berumen, director of the Red Sea Research Center and professor of marine science at KAUST.

HIGHLIGHT

An international team of researchers, led by marine scientists at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and including researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the US, has performed an extensive study of whale shark movement and residency.

They found the aggregation to be highly seasonal, with sharks being most abundant in April and May, and that many of the sharks returned to the hot spot regularly year after year. The study also shows roughly equal numbers of male and female sharks using the site, something that could be unique to Shib Habil. These characteristics indicate that this site may serve an important function for the wider Indian Ocean population of this rare and endangered species.
“Using the combined dataset, we can show somewhat conclusively that the aggregation meets all of the criteria of a shark nursery. This is particularly relevant given that Shib Habil is the only site in the Indian Ocean to regularly attract large numbers of juvenile females. Growing late-stage adolescents of both sexes into full adulthood is critical for sustaining a species. Management of critical habitats like Shib Habil and other aggregations will likely be vital for future whale shark conservation,” said KAUST graduate Dr. Jesse Cochran, lead author of the study.
There is a combination of factors contributing to the decrease of whale shark populations world-wide, including targeted fishing, bycatch losses due to fisheries, vessel strikes from boat traffic, marine debris, and pollution.